let me read her journal, after she had read mine, entirely to the disagreeable consequences of travelling by railway. Miss Jillgall accounted for it otherwise in her own funny manner: "My sweet child, your sister's diary is full of abuse of poor me." I humored the joke: "Dearest Selina, keep a diary of your own, and fill it with abuse of my sister." This seemed to be a droll saying at the time. But it doesn't look particularly amusing, now it is written down. We had ginger wine at supper, to celebrate Helena's return. Although I only drank one glass, I daresay it may have got into my head.
However that may be, when the lovely moonlight tempted us into the garden, there was an end to all our jokes. We had something to talk about which still dwells disagreeably on my mind.
Miss Jillgall began it.
"If I trust you, dearest Eunice, with my own precious secrets, shall I never, never, never live to repent it?"
I told my good little friend that she might depend on me, provided her secrets did no harm to any person whom I loved.
She clasped her hands and looked up at the moon. I can only suppose that her sentiments overpowered her. She said, very prettily, that her heart and my heart beat together in heavenly harmony. It is needless to add that this satisfied me.
Miss Jillgall's generous confidence in my discretion was, I am afraid, not rewarded as it ought to have been. I found her tiresome at first.
She spoke of an excellent friend (a lady), who had helped her, at the time when she lost her little fortune, by raising a subscription privately to pay the expenses of her return to England. Her friend's name--not very attractive to English ear's--was Mrs. Tenbruggen; they had first become acquainted under interesting circumstances. Miss Jillgall had happened to mention that my father was her only living relative; and it turned out that Mrs. Tenbruggen was familiar with his name, and reverenced his fame as a preacher. When he had generously received his poor helpless cousin under his own roof, Miss Jillgall's gratitude and sense of duty impelled her to write, and tell Mrs. Tenbruggen how happy she was as a member of our family.
Let me confess that I began to listen more attentively when the narrative reached this point.